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Suspected illegal immigrant faces fraud charge

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

PHOENIX – A man believed to be an illegal immigrant has been charged with fraudulently receiving more than $47,000 in federal student aid, authorities said.

Jesus Jose Serrano-Gil, 27, has been in custody since late July.

A federal complaint alleges that Serrano-Gil is a Mexican citizen although he lives in Glendale and graduated from a high school in that Phoenix suburb.

Serrano-Gil is charged with using a counterfeit birth certificate showing he was born in Maricopa County to obtain federal student aid to go to Arizona State University between 1997 and 2000. He graduated in December 2000 with an economics degree.

A conviction for student-loan fraud and false claim to citizenship carries maximum penalties of eight years in prison, $500,000 in fines or both, according to authorities.

Dan Drake, assistant U.S. attorney for Arizona, said Serrano-Gil was arrested by the Border Patrol after a visit to Mexico when a review of his documents showed that some were false.

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